This talk starts in Georgian Bath where former members of the British East India Company came to take the waters and exchanged ideas about the mathematics that they had found in Bengal. It will trace the development of Indian Mathematics and the vital concept of Zero from its origins in ancient astronomy to its use in commerce and science.
Dr Peter Ford was a shadow trustee of the reformed BRLSI from 1990-1993. He was then one of the first trustees representing the University of Bath and later the membership of the BRLSI. He has lived in Lansdown Crescent for forty years half of which was spent in the Physics Department of the University of Bath. He was chair of the William Herschel Society for nine years. In 2008 he was awarded MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List for “services to higher education and science”.
Deepali Gaskell. Marriage brought Deepali to Bath, where she now lives. Her interest in Astronomy and Mathematics nurtured by her mother who was an historian and archaeologist was revived when she came across, in her voluntary work with the National Trust, the collection of books in the library at Stourhead which included the Asiatick Researches commissioned by the British East India Company in the 1770’s. This has provided much of the material for this talk.
Deepali has also referred to the Records Office and to the collection in the archives of BRLSI, where she found Newton’s Principia Mathematica, Max Muller’s translation from the Veda, and Journals of the East India Company all of which helped to produce this talk. Deepali is on the Publications and Website committees at BRLSI.